SAN ANTONIO — Here in the U.S. we base our flu vaccine on the latest strains circulating around the world.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases says only 49% of U.S. adults plan to get their flu shot. But with this year's flu season expected to be so much worse than normal, experts say that number needs to be higher.
"People think of a flu shot as just something you do every year, but it's just another booster against more specific variants of flu that we are likely to see now," said Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, the CEO and President of Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
And with the southern hemisphere flu season being so much worse, which is during our summer, the same is expected here this winter.
"We saw it very early and we saw more than about 60% of the cases that ended up being hospitalized were children under the age of 16," said Chief Health Officer at CSL Seqirus Dr. Gregg Sylvester.
For this year's flu season there are three vaccines available instead of the typical two. If you’re 65 years or older, the CDC recommends you receive an adjuvanted or higher dose vaccine. The Fluad Quadrivalent Vaccine is an adjuvanted vaccine, which is designed to help strengthen, broaden and lengthen the immune responses to the vaccine.
The Recombinant Vaccine which does not require an egg-based process or chicken eggs in production. And the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent Vaccine which contains four times the antigen as standard vaccines, which is another vaccine option recommended for those 65 years of age or older.
And even though many are still vaccine hesitant, for those that normally get the flu shot not to become complacent.
"We need to make sure, as we're facing into the fall that people are up to date on their immunizations, whether they're the childhood immunizations, your COVID vaccination or your flu vaccine." Dr. McMurry-Heath said.
"Let's be prepared so that we don't over-tax our health care system. We don't need a lot of people in the hospital with COVID and another group with flu," Dr. Sylvester added.